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Cliff Drive, Spring
Cliff Drive, Spring
TitleCliff Drive, Spring
DescriptionPostcard of The Spring on Cliff Drive
Historical ArticleCliff drive, winding for six and a half miles along the south bluffs of the Missouri river from the Paseo to Belmont avenue, was opened in 1900. The drive twisted through the wooded hills and canyons of the 308-acre North Terrace park, Kansas City's second largest park.

It was another dream come true for George E. Kessler, landscape architect, who constantly urged the development of Kansas City's natural terrain and rugged beauty.

The beautiful roadway was a favorite of horse and buggy drivers. In 1905 automobiles were not admitted because of the danger of a horse being frightened and plunging off the edge of the cliff. Dark-blue uniformed and helmeted police were stationed at the entrance to the drive to enforce the law.

From Indian times until 1962, the spring near the east end of the drive was enjoyed for its clear, pure drinking water, extra high in mineral content.

The spring was originally part of the historic Nathan Scarritt farm, which extended from the present Van Brunt boulevard to Scarritt Point and from the bluff to St. John avenue. Scarritt's original log cabin home was high on the cliff above the spring and the family kept butter and milk in the cool waters below.

Later, stone retaining walls, a bowl and outlets for the spring were built by the city, and many persons came daily to drink and carry home water in jugs. A brass plaque on the wall reads, Acquired 1899 from the Rev. Nathan Scarritt estate. Restored 1959. The spring was closed in 1962 because of water contamination.

When the horse and buggy disappeared and automobiles were admitted, sight-seeing busses toured the drive and the spring became a regular stop for rest and refreshment.

The drive is still one of the city's most scenic and pleasant, and affords an outstanding view of the Northeast Industrial district, as well as the Missouri river.

Native trees have reached mammoth proportions, and the wild growth of berries, shrubs and flowers cover the limestone hid in the depths of the quiet place.

Kansas City Times
June 28, 1969

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectCliff Drive
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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